Meet our Team

Patricia Alvarado, MA

Director & Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor

Jennifer Brizuela, LCSW

Licensed Clinical Social Worker

Jovanna Borquez, LMFT

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist

Vanessa Gutierrez, MSW

Associate Clinical Social Worker

Diane Orozco, MA

Associate Marriage and Family Therapist

Stephanie Sorady, MSW

Associate Clinical Social Worker

Yesenia Guerrero, MSW

Associate Clinical Social Worker

Veronica Flores, MSW

Associate Clinical Social Worker

Lucy Plascencia, MS

Associate Professional Clinical Counselor

Patricia Alvarado

Director & Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor

My experience comes from various schools of thoughts, through a multicultural lens that includes Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR), Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), and Solution Focused Treatment utilizing a strengths-based approach.

I am a licensed professional clinical counselor in the state of California and a licensed mental health counselor in the state of New York. I received my Master’s of Arts in Counseling from Loyola Marymount University in California and have extensive training in crisis intervention and trauma treatment working with Victims of Crime, within community mental health agencies, and private practice.

I explore situations in the here and now in order to provide a listening ear to understand your needs. I have experience working with women’s issues, relationships, crisis intervention, trauma focused treatment, anxiety, depression, mindfulness, substance abuse, and parenting. My areas of expertise include exploring trauma as well as parent/child relationships. Each can be unique on their own or intertwined together as trauma (generational, etc.) can have an affect in the way that we parent. My work aims to understand the underlying concerns that are causing stressful situations and mal-adaptive behaviors. Through active listening, approaching things with empathy, and from a non-judgmental standpoint, my hope is that we can work together to help create trust within the therapeutic relationship.


The experiences that I have gained volunteering on the Suicide Prevention Hotline, various shelters in Los Angeles including the Downtown Women’s Shelter, and my experience within community/mental health allow me to offer various perspectives and see things from a different lens. This creates an opportunity for creative interventions that allow us to truly experience change within the therapeutic relationship.

Qualifications

Trainings & Techniques

  • Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR)
  • Acute Traumatic Incident Processing (A-TIP)
  • Critical Incident Desensitization (CID)
  • Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TFCBT)
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
  • Positive Parenting Strategies (Triple P)
  • Incredible Years for Children and Families
  • Seeking Safety
  • Brief Response to Crisis (BRC/CORS)/Crisis Oriented Recovery Services
  • MBSR-T/Stressed Teens Mindfulness Program
  • Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST)
  • Problem Solving Treatment (PST) for Depression
  • Motivational Interviewing

Professional Practice

  • Clinical Supervisor with Beacon Health Options
  • Counselor with The College of Westchester
  • Clinical Therapist with Crespo Mental Health
  • Lead Clinical Therapist at USC’s Violence Intervention Program
  • Clinical Therapist with Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services
  • Psychotherapist with California Victims of Crime Program
  • Counselor on the Suicide Prevention Hotline
  • Private Practice
Patricia and I have been colleagues in the mental health field for several years and she is the first person I call when I need to consult about a tough case I may have. Throughout the years I have seen Patricia be a consistent positive force in this field. Patricia’s warm and inviting aura and compassion for others is only a small glimpse of the therapeutic toolbox she owns, which truly sets her apart from others. I admire her ability to navigate so effortlessly through this toolbox while working with complex cases. Patricia’s passion for her career and desire to help her clients is unwavering and it is evident not only through the progress her clients make, but also through her efforts to constantly learn and broaden her skills. Patricia is without a doubt a future leader in this field and I am excited to continue watching her flourish.
Patricia is truly one of a kind. Her work ethic, professionalism and motivation is extremely admirable! She is an expert in her field, is well-rounded and knows how to connect with others. She is very supportive and will help you navigate any issues you may be going through.
Patty has been absolutely clutch. Having her as my therapist has helped me in a plethora of ways. From specific techniques to cope with stresses and anxieties to EMDR for healing of past traumas – Patty has had my back. I am tremendously thankful for her.
Patty, has truly helped me experience growth as a woman and adult. I’m proud of how far I’ve come and her strong and guidance has been an intricate part of the process.
Patricia is extremely caring and supportive as a therapist and would highly recommend to those looking to start or maintain their personal therapy journey.
Patty is a phenomenal therapist. I had lost hope for therapy because of never being able to “click” with my therapist in the past or not feeling as if they genuinely cared. Patty listens and will mention something that you told her a long time ago, which is great to hear that she is really there and not just counting down the seconds in each therapy session. She has also been very patient and understanding when and if I had to reschedule and very transparent about charging you for less than 24 hours notice. She is a great listener, unbiased, gives great advice, calls you out on things you could have done better (professionally and pleasantly done) and transparent. She’s exactly what I needed and will continue to see her without hesitation.

Jennifer Brizuela

Licensed Clinical Social Worker

The most important ethical principles that I embrace as a social worker are to challenge social issues, provide service to those in need, and value the worth and dignity of people and their respective communities.

I was born in Los Angeles, am a first-generation college graduate, and am bilingual (Spanish). I received my Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology from the University of California- Riverside in 2009 with an emphasis on disparities in the medical system. I received my Master of Social Work from the University of Southern California in 2013 and became a licensed clinical social worker in 2018. Throughout my 11 years in social services, I’ve worked alongside families involved with child welfare, individuals experiencing houselessness and other psychosocial issues, medical social work, and the mental health field. These experiences provided me with knowledge that allows me to meet my clients where they are, build trust, and approach treatment in a way that is both beneficial and empowering.

My therapeutic approach involves active listening, is empathic, and judgement free. I strive to provide a safe space where clients can express themselves and feel supported. I strongly believe in acknowledging intersectionality’s and the importance of individual experiences. My areas of expertise include anxiety, depression, intergenerational trauma, self-esteem, and first generation/migrant communities. I utilize a combination of treatment modalities that include Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Ego State (Parts), Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR), Motivational Interviewing, and A-Tip. I have experience in assessments, crisis intervention, community mental health, and intensive case management. I have previously worked with children and adults with a history of abuse (physical, sexual, emotional, neglect), grief and loss, medical co-morbidities, domestic violence, substance abuse and severe mental health issues.

I hope to create an atmosphere where you are able to stop, breathe, and process. I am here to build a trusting relationship with you and begin your journey to your best self.

Jennifer has dealt with patients and their families at very critical periods in their lives, in crisis due to a medical or traumatic event. She was compassionate and provided the essential emotional and social support needed by our community members. There is no doubt in my mind that she will bring her compassion and social work skills to the clients at your agency!
I have seen Jennifer’s professional development since our time together in graduate school. Jennifer’s passion to serve clients and the community motivated her to pursue a Master of Social Work degree and that passion continues to fuel her work as a therapist. Jennifer understands the importance of quality mental health services and she is committed to providing quality therapeutic services to her clients.
Jennifer and I have been colleagues since 2011. She is the stable rock that grounds people in moments of uncertainty. She has incredible work ethic, which means that she is dedicated to her clients and their wellbeing. She is a fierce advocate and appreciates diversity and culture. She is warm, funny, and kind-hearted, making it easy for people to connect with her. Yet, keeps it real in a gentle way so she helps people grow and get out of their comfort zones.
Jennifer possesses desirable traits of authenticity, being conscientious, hardworking, collaborative, engaging, empathic, and open to new experiences and growth. She would often rise to the occasion of assisting fellow colleagues with crisis appointments and was readily available for consultation. Jennifer maintained a high degree of professionalism in her interactions with clients, families and colleagues and continuously demonstrated effective communication strategies of active listening and problem-solving strategies. Jennifer’s knowledge, experience, high level of professionalism and positive demeanor make her an exceptional colleague.
I supervised Jennifer for several years and she always displayed a passion for her work. She is conscientious, hardworking and responsible and is able to develop a rapport with almost everyone. I am proud of Jennifer’s continued commitment to growth and increasing her clinical skills.

Jovanna Borquez

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist

As a mental health therapist my goal is to provide empathy and a safe space throughout your journey of self-empowerment and discovery. I am a huge believer in the idea that we all possess the knowledge to self-heal or solve our problems, though sometimes we need a helping professional to find the key to unlocking that knowledge.

I graduated from Mount Saint Mary’s University in 2016 with a Master of Science in Counseling Psychology. I received my Bachelor of Arts degree in Child Development from California State University, Los Angeles.

As a bilingual licensed marriage and family therapist, I approach every person individually based on their unique needs and preferences as my approach in therapy is largely drawn from Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT). I work with adults in individual psychotherapy struggling with a variety of life stressors and difficulties such as depression, anxiety, grief and loss, and traumatic events. Brainspotting is another modality I use within my therapeutic approach which uses brain and body to access the subcortical brain in order to regulate the nervous system by creating a state of homeostasis. Brainspotting is a great tool to use for emotional pain, trauma, anxiety, depression, disassociation, processing decisions, and expanding the ability to tap into your brain and body’s own natural ability to regulate and more.  

Through our collaborative work, we identify behavioral patterns that contribute to distress and implement self-empowerment interventions to assist in reaching your highest potential. My goal as a therapist is to help you learn valuable skills and tools that you can apply in your life long after therapy is over. 

I met Jovanna in 2013 when we started our master’s program at Mount Saint Mary’s University. Her willingness to actively listen and provide support while achieving goals has been present since the day we met.  Jovanna is a great colleague and therapist. Her training in various evidence based practices and cultural background allow her to connect with her clients as they work together toward their goals. She is sound and committed to providing quality care to her clients and community.
I met Jovanna during graduate school and bonded over many similar life qualities and experiences. I have witnessed first hand the genuine care and dedication she provides to all her clients every single day. I’ve had the privilege and opportunity to work alongside her for two years in which she further fostered and strengthened her therapeutic skills. Her ability to meet her clients based on their needs is truly the definition of a quality therapist.

Vanessa Gutierrez

Associate Clinical Social Worker

As a social worker I value integrity. I am sensitive to cultural and social diversity and empower vulnerable populations through self-determination. I have a Master’s Degree in Social Work and a Pupil Personnel Services Credential from California State University, Long Beach. I am registered with the California Board of Behavioral Sciences (BBS) as an Associate Clinical Social Worker


I have been in the field of social work for the past 5 years and within the educational field cumulatively for 12 years working with vulnerable families

struggling with psychosocial and social issues. My active listening skills can be shown through my ability to connect with others on a deeper level and help them through their process to manage stressful situations. My experience ranges from clients as young as 5years old to older adults suffering from severe mental illnesses.

I have provided individual and group therapy to at-risk clients struggling with academic, social, behavioral, and emotional problems. I use various tools to identify symptoms and implement evidence-based interventions that address clinical symptoms of trauma, depression, anxiety, grief, and other clinical issues. I have experience in crisis intervention and after care plans, partnering with both clients and parents alike. My knowledge within the mental health field also includes providing wraparound services, intensive case management, and assisting clients with various life transitions varying from navigating housing support to vocational and educational linkages. 

My goal is to help you understand the fundamental issues that are difficult for you to manage. Using EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing), along with a Cognitive Behavioral approach (CBT), my hope is to create a therapeutic relationship where you are provided with the ability to bounce back from challenges with a stronger sense of self, confidence, and coping capacity to get through adversity. With empathy and active listening, my hope is to build trust and create a unique approach together that works for you to improve your quality of life.

I believe in meaningful connections. I believe that establishing this connection and providing a safe environment for vulnerability is a vital gateway that will support overall growth. With compassion and from a non-judgmental approach, my goal is to support the healing process by understanding the underlying issues causing suffering.

I met Vanessa in 2016, I was her supervisor during her second year internship. Vanessa has been the best intern I’ve ever had. Vanessa has all the wonderful qualities you would like in an intern and much more. She was always prepared, extremely dependable, willing to learn and grow but above that what I admired and appreciated most was her passion for this work. Vanessa transformed throughout her internship experience as she was willing to be vulnerable and introspective. The work she was willing to do with herself made her an exceptional clinician and someone I knew would do amazing things in the field. I am honored to have been part of this process and am beyond proud of the growth she continues to do for herself not just personally but professionally throughout the years.
Vanessa and I have been colleagues for a couple of years. Although we serve students in different schools, she has always been someone I can depend on for support, consultation, brainstorming, and ideas. The quality I admire the most of Vanessa is the empathy she has for her clients. She always gives 100% to try to understand her clients through her thorough and individualized assessments and shows competence and sensitivity when discussions become personal and deep. It’s not always easy to have in-depth conversations but Vanessa is so personable, warm, and inviting, that she makes it easy to open up. Vanessa always has everyones best interest in mind, whether it’s a client, colleague, friend, or family. She goes above and beyond and is resourceful to meet the needs of the populations she services. Vanessas’ passion lies within mental health and she excels the most when working in this type of professional setting.

Diane Orozco

Associate Marriage and Family Therapist

I am deeply committed to disrupting intergenerational cycles and the systems of oppression that leave us feeling stuck, insecure, lonely or simply misaligned. 

As the daughter of a poor immigrant father from Jalisco, Mexico and Chicana mother from Northeast Los Ángeles I understand and live the complexities of our identities within the Latinx community. 

Navigating life with conflicting values and expectations can be a lot to handle. It’s so important for you to have a safe and affirming space to focus on you. As your therapist, we will work collaboratively to build trust and safety in our relationship. I believe the therapeutic relationship is the foundation for deep healing work. My role is to support your healing process. I do this with curiosity, empathy, some humor and a gentle but firm approach. Together, we will work to develop insight, to build on your power, to find your peace and your joy. 

To support you in this process, I will incorporate, with a racial justice framework, elements from various therapeutic modalities including EMDR, family systems, attachment, mindfulness, and CBT. My approach to mental health is holistic and I believe that body movement, good nutrition and sleep provide a solid foundation for a healthy mind. 

My experience includes parent training, school based services, and outpatient community mental health. I have experience working with youth, adults and families struggling with trauma, complex trauma, anxiety, depression, grief and life transitions. I received a Master’s of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy with a specialization in Trauma Studies from Pacific Oaks College. I am an alumni of the AAMFT (American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists) Minority Fellowship Program and a member of CAMFT (California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists).

Stephanie Sorady

Associate Clinical Social Worker

If you’re reading this, you are likely someone who is ready to take steps towards healing and transformation – congratulations!

Are you tired of feeling overwhelmed, burnt out and drained? What if I told you that you already possess the power and wisdom you need to improve your relationships, career, and confidence? Well – you do! When working with clients I enjoy taking a collaborative approach to help them heal and build a healthy foundation for the life they want to live. You are the expert of your experiences and I’m here to support and guide you on your healing journey.

A bit about me: I was born and raised in Los Angeles and grew up in a multicultural family as the daughter of a Mexican immigrant mother and Irish-Hungarian-American father. I’m also a  bilingual clinician (Spanish). I’ve been working in the field of social work for four years providing crisis intervention, case management and therapeutic services. Through my work so far I’ve supported a wide variety of folks such as first-gen college students, adult children of alcoholics, people experiencing homelessness and military veterans. These experiences have provided me with diverse perspectives and invaluable lessons I use in my therapeutic practice regularly.

I received my B.A. in Social Sciences from the University of Southern California and my Masters in Social Work from Columbia University. I’m currently registered with the California Board of Behavioral Sciences (BBS) as an Associate Clinical Social Worker.

My goal is to create a non-judgemental space where you feel seen and heard through a culturally sensitive and trauma-informed lens. I use Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR) Mindfulness and Solution-Focused techniques to help you heal from anxiety, intergenerational trauma, negative beliefs and mal-adaptive behaviors that no longer serve you. My specialties include: anxiety, perfectionism, parentified children, trauma, self-esteem, issues affecting women, issues affecting veterans and grief/loss.

If you feel we may be a good fit and are interested in working together to help you heal from the past and intentionally create your future, please schedule your consultation.

Yesenia Guerrero

Associate Clinical Social Worker

As a therapist, I believe in the importance of a strength-based approach to allow you to regain control of your value, power, and mental health. 

I received my Bachelor’s degree with a double major in Sociology and Global Studies from the University of California, Santa Barbara where I developed a passion for understanding systems of oppression that affect individual and community mental health. I went on to receive my Master of Social Work degree with a Pupil Personnel Services Credential from California State University, Long Beach. I am currently registered with the California Board of Behavioral Sciences as an Associate Clinical Social Worker.

 

My experience includes trauma-informed individual therapy, family therapy, group therapy, and suicide and crisis intervention. I have provided services to children ages 5+ and adults. I specialize in mental health services for survivors of domestic violence, children and families, and parenting support with a focus on trauma-informed approaches that take into account your lived experiences and the existing systems that affect your day-to-day mental health. We can begin your mental health journey to address depression, anxiety, trauma, intergenerational healing, or anything else you are ready to process with the use of Interpersonal Psychotherapy (IPT), Managing and Adapting Practice (MAP), and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). Please know that you do not have to do this alone.

Veronica Flores

Associate Clinical Social Worker

Hello, Hola, and welcome! I am a bilingual Spanish-speaking Associate Social Worker in California. I was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. I am a first-generation college graduate. I received my Bachelors of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies from California State University of Dominguez Hills. After completing my B.A., I attended the University of Southern California, where I earned my Masters’ Degree in Social Work.

My experience ranges on various topics such as family dysfunction, anxiety, depression, trauma resulting from physical abuse and neglect, sexual abuse. I have experience in assessments, crisis intervention, eating disorders, and intensive case management. I have worked in mental health outpatient programs, field-based community mental health, foster agencies, and non-profit organizations. I have experience with children, young adults, and adults helping others living with adjustment changes, issues of grief and loss, and LGBT issues.

My therapeutic approach involves active listening, validating, and being judgment-free. My approach is to utilize strength-based modalities. I practice models such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, crisis intervention, and motivational interviewing. I understand the stigma associated with mental illness, and I want to combat that stigma by providing a safe space to tell your story. My goal is to help individuals seeking ways to improve and grow emotionally by providing a safe and nurturing environment where you can talk about your feelings and circumstances. I’m here to support you wherever you are on your journey.

Lucy Plascencia

Associate Professional Clinical Counselor

I consider myself a strong and encouraging force to those around me and as your therapist, I am committed to supporting your growth, goals and mental health. I am a curious, direct and compassionate therapist that will serve as a guiding light in difficult and triumphant moments.

I value my work as a counselor and am excited to work with you to help you find your most actualized and empowered self!  

A bit about my background, I was born and raised in the San Gabriel Valley of Los Angeles into a large and vibrant Mexican family. This sparked my love of community and curiosity of human relationships! When I’m not working, I enjoy bike riding, learning about social issues, tending to my many houseplants, thrifting vintage clothes and furniture and spending time with my loved ones.

I hold a Master’s Degree in Community Based Multicultural Counseling and Social Justice Education from San Diego State University and I am registered with the California Board of Behavioral Sciences (BBS) as an Associate Professional Clinical Counselor (APCC). I have six years of experience working with youth and adults as a former educator, counselor and mental health therapist. I have worked in outpatient mental health, community mental health clinics, high schools and higher education settings. I specialize in working with youth and adults facing self-esteem challenges, seeking to build healthy relationships, battling depression and anxiety, grief/loss, gender and sexuality, trauma and working with marginalized communities such as people of color, and folks in the LGBTQ community.

Along with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), I utilize Person Centered Therapy, Attachment theory, gender affirming, sex positive and feminist based approaches. My counseling approach embodies a trauma-informed, multicultural lens with the goal of guiding clients to understand themselves and create positive change in their inner and outer world. I am passionate about motivating my clients to meet their goals and empower them to have moments of awakening that lead to living a life with greater authenticity, resilience and emotional healing.

My goal is to create a strong therapeutic relationship to best support your journey! If you are ready to take the first step, I encourage you to schedule a consultation.